RAWALPINDI: Inter-Services Public Relations ISPR) Director-General Major General Babar Iftikhar said the Pakistan Army could not get involved in political affairs as it had to deal with security challenges facing the country.
“The entire nation loves its armed forces and the latter also reciprocated the same, and no rift could be created between the two,” he said while talking to the private news channel.
Major Gen Babar said it had been repeatedly requested to keep the armed forces out of the political talk. However, the leaders of all political parties had made statements about the top leadership of the armed forces over the last few days, he added.
He said the army had no issue with valid criticism, however social media was spewing propaganda and not criticism.
The DG ISPR said, “If there is any lapse in the security of the country, there is no room for apology. However, If anyone thinks that there may be division within the army then they do not know about the army.”
He said the entire army looked towards its chief and there should be no doubt that anyone could create divisions in its ranks and files. “The position of command is important in any rank within the army. The Corps Commander’s position is an important post after the Army Chief.”
Maj Gen Babar said 70% of the army strength was deployed across the country as various counter-terrorism operations were being carried out in different places. “We have achieved a lot in the war on terror,” he added.
The DG ISPR said the decision of early elections was to be made by the politicians and the army had no role in that regard. “The politicians are capable to resolve the issues and make better decisions through dialogue,” he added.
The Pakistan Army, he said, would provide its services for security whenever the government wanted. He underlined that the army had never invited politicians for meetings. “When requests are made, then the Army Chief has to meet and the entire responsibility in that regard rested with the politicians,” he added.
Major Gen Babar said the visits of Inter-Services Intelligence chief were not made public. The meetings and intelligence sharing with intelligence chiefs of all the countries were being made and no ambiguity should be created in such cases, he added.
Earlier Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) took exception to the “imprudent comments” made by the country’s senior politicians about Peshawar Corps Commander Lt Gen Faiz Hameed, terming them “very inappropriate”.
In a statement, the military’s media wing said the Peshawar Corps was an “illustrious formation” of the army and was spearheading the national war against terrorism for over two decades.
“One of the most competent and professional officers is entrusted with the responsibility to lead this prestigious formation. Imprudent comments made by important senior politicians recently about Peshawar Corps commander are very inappropriate,” the ISPR said.
It added that such statements undermined the honour and the morale of the institution and its leadership. “It is expected that the senior political leadership of [the] country refrains from passing objectionable remarks against the institution, whose brave officers and men are constantly putting their lives on the line to guard the integrity and sovereignty of Pakistan,” the statement concluded.